Kushner Cos. buys Gary Barnett out of development on NJ waterfront

Extell chief sold 50% stake in a sprawling mixed-use project in Long Branch

Extell Development president Gary Barnett and Kushner Companies founder Charles Kushner with a rendering The Lofts at Pier Village in New Jersey (Rendering via Extell Development)
Extell Development president Gary Barnett and Kushner Companies founder Charles Kushner with a rendering The Lofts at Pier Village in New Jersey (Rendering via Extell Development)

Gary Barnett’s Extell Development is saying goodbye to the New Jersey waterfront — at least part of it.

The developer, known for his luxury high-rise condo towers in Manhattan, has sold his company’s 50 percent stake in two completed phases of New Jersey’s Pier Village to Kushner Companies, according to sources familiar with the transaction. The deal, which gives Kushner full ownership, valued the project’s rentals, retail and hotel at $181 million, the source said.

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Extell and Kushner Companies teamed up in 2014 to buy Pier Village along with a then-vacant stretch of land from Ironstate Development for $200 million. At the time, Pier Village had 492 rentals and 90,000 square feet of retail, which Ironstate developed in two phases during the aughts through an urban renewal deal with the city of Long Branch.

Extell and Kushner sought to transform the beachside development from a seasonal destination into a place that would attract year-round residents. In 2017, the duo won approval from the local City Council for a $283 million addition to Pier Village. Kushner developed the 67-key Wave Resort hotel and Extell built Lofts Pier Village, a 245-unit condominium across three buildings as part of the development’s third and final phase.

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Thanks to the recent deal, Kushner now owns the approximately 40,000 square feet of retail in the base of the condo, the Wave Resort hotel and the remainder of the Pier Village rental apartments and retail. Extell will retain ownership of the boardwalk carousel at 160 Ocean Avenue, along with the 245-unit condo, where 25 percent of units remain unsold.

Extell netted proceeds of around $25 million, after accounting for the debt, which was expected to be used to pay down debt in the Israeli bond market. Barnett could not be reached.

The developers have worked together before, in 2014 selling the 235,000-square-foot building at 80 West End Avenue for $195 million to Frank Ring.

Laurent Morali, president of Kushner Companies, declined to discuss any of the financial details of the Pier Village sale, but said the company was “very happy to own 100 percent” of the Jersey Shore property.

For Kushner Companies, the deal is in line with its expansion in its home state of New Jersey. In January, the company picked up a 1,000-unit apartment portfolio in New Jersey and New York for $266.5 million. It’s also recently made big bets in Maryland, Virginia and South Florida.